Sun. Feb 11th, 2024

d..、,.. #MY_BLACK_KNIGHT d..、,..

Happen 38

As Produced By Sheriff Squinty

Theme: Up He Gets (Awoken)

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I took a long, hot shower before I even considered crawling into bed. The

scalding liquid felt nice on my exhausted and weary body. I let it run down my back as I sat down, trying to rein in my emotions. I felt like I’d been

battered left and right, although the only visible bruise was a faint welt on my cheek from Brett’s punch. My symptoms had abated but I could still feel the overwhelming heat lingering under the surface of my skin. Once my

father woke up, I would ask him what the hell was wrong with me.

By the time I dried myself and threw on the baggiest t-shirt I could find, I knew dawn was approaching fast. I could sleep a day if I wanted to but,

instead, I set the alarm near my bed for afternoon. If something important happened, someone would wake me up.

Sometime later, an annoying and persistent sound began to leak into my

peaceful haven of sleep. I turned over, burying myself deeper into the

warmth of my comforter, but still the noise continued. After a few more

minutes of slowly-building aggravation, I opened my eyes and blinked

blearily at the clock. 10:00 am. Who was at the door? I’d figured Gabriel and his packmates would just come in. He’d been to my house before, after all.

 

Sighing, I slowly dragged myself out of bed. I felt slightly better but I

honestly could have used a lot more sleep. Throwing on the nearest pair of shorts and switching out my over-sized t-shirt for a tank top, I headed

downstairs as the urgent knocking continued. As I glanced around the

living room, I realized with a frown that my mound of blankets was still

untouched. They hadn’t come to sleep here. I felt a stab of disappointment before realizing Gabriel probably had a lot more things to do. He rarely

slept as it was.

 

“I’m coming, I’m coming,” I grumbled. I was sure I looked like a zombie but, since I couldn’t catch Gabriel’s scent, I knew it wasn’t him at the door so I

honestly didn’t care what I looked like.

Throwing it open, I could only stare with my mouth gaping in shock.

Will stood there looking worse than I’d ever seen him. He was panting and there were deep, baggy circles under his eyes. His irises were bloodshot

and there were twigs in his sandy brown hair. It was immediately obvious to methat he’d gone for a long run and hadn’t slept for a while.

“ …Will?” I asked him, almost timidly, thoughts of our argument the other night flying out the window. “Are you okay?”

He shook his head slowly, fixing his miserable blue eyes on mine. “Can we talk?” He asked, voice hoarse. It honestly looked like he’d been crying. I

hadn’t seen Will cry in years. I figured he was grieving about Anne, after all he’d been friends with her too. All the unmated wolves tended to hang out together, and Will and Maria were now some of the only wolves over

eighteen that hadn’t found their other half. Anne would never find hers.

I swallowed hard before nodding. “Come in,” I said softly and gestured for him to enter my house. He mumbled a thankyou before limping in.

Will had always tended to his appearance well, so seeing him so haggard

was frightening. “Can I get you anything? Water? Juice? Wine?” I tacked the last part on, hoping to ease the tension a bit, but Will just shook his head. “Water’s enough, thanks.”

I indicated he sit down and he slowly made his way over to the couch,

sinking down onto the middle cushion. I quickly poured him a glass of

water and made my way over to join him. He took the glass of water and sipped, keeping his eyes averted from me, not saying a word. I wanted to come right out and ask what was wrong but something held me back. I could tell Will was bracing himself and I didn’t want to push. After a

moment or two, he finally cleared his throat.

“I’m so sorry, Skylar,” were the next words out of his mouth. I blinked, expecting him to say something about Anne.

“Why are you-“

 

“It’s all my f**king fault.” Will began to run both hands through his twig- infested hair in agitation.

“Your fault?” I almost wanted to laugh at the absurdity.

“After you and I argued, Maria tried to calm me down. I was horrible to her and I hurt her feelings. She ran off into the woods. Anne, as usual, told me off and went to comfort her.” Will finally turned to face me, and I was struck

at the massive amount of guilt pooling in the depths of his eyes. “If it

weren’t for me, they never would have been in the woods that night.” His voice broke and he turned away quickly.

I was shaking my head as he spoke. “No, Will, you can’t blame yourself. If

anything, it’s my fault. I went to confront Cain and he was angry at me, and he killed Anne as revenge,” I felt the lump rising in my throat again, but I

couldn’t cry now. I had to act strong because Will was falling apart. Gently, I reached a hand out and rested it on his back.

Will scarcely seemed to absorb my words. “I was horrible to you and to Maria. Maria liked

me, Skylar. She’s liked me all along. How could I never have seen it?”

 

 

*

Hall Of Supernatural Stories

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I remained mute. I had been suspicious of Maria’s feelings for Will for a while but she’d never said them outright. I’d never understood why she wouldn’t share them with me but perhaps she just didn’t want to make things awkward in the friend group. “She never told me, either,” I replied softly. “That’s just her own business. You couldn’t have known.” I smiled

slightly, again trying to lighten the situation. “Guys are oblivious, remember?”

Will’s mouth quirked ever-so-slightly but the expression quickly vanished. He focused his eyes on me again. “I’ve been running almost nonstop the last couple of days. I figured if I ran enough, the feeling of guilt would go

 

away. I was trying to forget about all the crap that I have to deal with every day since you came back from the Black Mountains Pack. Then I heard

about what happened to Brett, and how we have a new Alpha now, and

how he was coming here. I couldn’t stand it, Sky. I know I was supposed to

be at that meeting last night but I couldn’t face anyone again. And I couldn’t stand seeing him here.”

I knew that by ‘him’, he meant Gabriel. I sighed, almost sadly. “You really hate him that much?” I asked softly.

Will looked away, jaw working. “We’ve hated him for so long. I don’t know how else to feel. I know we have bigger problems now but I just can’t get over the fact that he’s your Mate.”

“I know. But there’s more to him. As much as I’ve been around him, there are a couple times I’ve seen past the surface. Gabriel’s a lot deeper than anyone else realizes,”

Will looked like he wanted to argue but he resisted the impulse. “I don’t

think I can ever agree with you on that, Sky, but there’s one thing I can do.” “What’s that?”

“Apologize.” He shifted his body to face me full-on. “Again, I want to say

I’m sorry. I know I don’t like him but he’s our Alpha now and I never should have said those things about your Mate,”

I nodded, smiling slightly at his heartfelt words. I had enough going on

right now; I didn’t want to fight with one of my best friends. I could only

hope he would warm up to Gabriel one day. “I forgive you Will; of course I do. What are friends for?”

Will tried to smile but it looked more like a grimace. He suddenly looked away again, twiddling his fingers. “There’s something else I wanted to tell you, too. I’m not sure it’s the right time. But I don’tthink I’ll ever really get another chance to say it.”

My eyebrows furrowed in puzzlement. “What’sthat?”

He took a deep breath. “A lot of the reason I acted like such a d**k is

because of the way I feel about you.” The words practically came out in a rushed mutter and I had to strain to hear them.

 

“The way you feel about me…?” I echoed, confused. I felt my Wolf pacing in agitation as if she didn’t want to hear what Will was saying.

“I like you Skylar. As more than a friend. I have for a long time.”

I felt my mouth open as I stared at him in confusion. Will had romantic feelings for me? Since when? I remembered the way Gabriel had acted around him. Perhaps Gabriel had been able to tell all along….was I that blind? “But….you…” I began to stammer, completely unsure how to

respond. I mean, we’d kissed once, and I’d liked him back in the day, but that had been a few years ago!

Will held a hand up, stopping me mid-stutter. He was avoiding my gaze. “It’s okay. You’ve been oblivious to it, I know that. And I understand you don’t reciprocate my feelings.” He sighed heavily. “I just wanted you to know. If I ever acted weird or overprotective…well…that’swhy.”

 

“I…um….why didn’t you say something sooner?” Although it wasn’t like the outcome would be different.

“I didn’t want to ruin our friendship. But now, I figured since I practically have already ruined it…”

“No you haven’t,” I shook my head vehemently. Will huffed out a shaky chuckle.

“Honestly, Skylar, I don’t expect anything from you. You have a Mate now. And I’m hoping once I find one of my own, it’ll be that much easier to get over you.”

I’d had my fingers interlaced and I stared down at them. My Wolf was not enjoying this.

“Hey,” he said softly, throwing his arm around my shoulders. It felt

comforting, as he’d always been touchy with me. Now I wondered if his

touchiness had stemmed from more than friendly feelings. “Don’t feel bad.” He glanced down at his arm. “And this is NOT me hitting on you, I

promise.”

I couldn’t help it; I giggled at bit at that.

“Ijust don’t want our friendship to change,” I said softly after a moment.

 

“It won’t. I don’t expect anything to come out of it anymore. You won’t

have to feel awkward,” he replied firmly. I nodded. My Wolf and I still felt a bit uneasy at his confession, but I couldn’t lose him as a friend. I would deal with it, and hopefully he’d find a Mate who could love him the way I never could.

I shifted position and he removed his arm from my shoulders. I turned to the side, resting my back against the arm of the couch, and laid my legs

over his lap. It was our customary position when watching movies and not as intimate as the arm-over-the-shoulder.

“I am curious though,” I blurted out before I could help myself. “Did this have anything to do with our kiss sophomore year?”

Will smiled wryly. I was glad I had at least momentarily distracted him from

his grief and guilt. “Yeah. I’d wanted to kiss you for a while, but after we kissed, I realized how much I was into you.” A flash of worry suddenly

crossed his expression. “Please don’t tell our new Alpha about that.” I chewed on my bottom lip, pondering how I should reply.

That was the worst possible moment for the front door to be shoved open. It was also the worst possible moment for Gabriel to walk in.

I ignored the way my body heated up as I saw him and my Wolf yipped in happiness, because the look on his face was downright furious. He took

one glance at Will and I, his dark eyes burning, before he snarled loud and clear. I felt Will flinch next to me and quickly scramble to his feet, backing away as fast as he possibly could.

“Get. The. Hell. Out.” Gabriel snarled furiously, the words distorted through his anger.

Will did not hesitate. I saw the way Gabriel’s fists were clenched – the way he looked like he was poised for attack. Quicker than lightning, Will darted towards the back door of the house, not wanting to go anywhere near my enraged Mate.

I stood up slowly, heart pounding as I took him in. “How long have-“

“Long enough,” he snapped, beginning to pace. I could tell he desperately wanted to go after Will and tear him to shreds.

 

“Gabriel, it isn’t what it looks like,” I tried to reason with him. It wasn’t like I’d done anything wrong. I knew how it must’ve looked but if anything, Will had been completely ‘friendzoned’ today.

“He had his f**king hands on you!” Gabriel practically roared. “I thought I made it pretty clear that nobody is to touch what’s mine!”

I felt my Wolf purring, deep in my chest, and I couldn’t help the way my

cheeks reddened. “He is my friend. I was consoling him. He was upset about Anne and Maria,”

 

 

 

 

 

*

As Produced By Sheriff Squinty

*

 

 

“Don’t bullshit me, Skylar. I heard enough to know your conversation was drastically different,”

Goto him, my Wolf was practically begging.

Calm him down. It’s your duty.

Won’t that only make things worse?

Can’t you see how close he is to Shifting and going after Will? She retorted, urging me onward. Hesitantly, I took a few steps closer to Gabriel. I didn’t want to make the already distracting Mating bond worse, but he was

practically in a frenzy. We couldn’t afford any altercations in the pack right now. My fellow pack members didn’t need to see this side to Gabriel right now. I bit my lip, eyeing Gabriel as I approached. He had frozen and was

staring at the ground, fists clenching and unclenching, breathing heavily.

I felt the electricity sparking between us as I stopped a mere twelve inches from him, staring up at him nervously. Slowly, he raised his head, and those mesmerizing eyes met mine. What I saw there made my heartthrob: pain. He was clearly hurting from what he’d heard. Intermingled with the hurt

was jealousy and rage, but I saw it nonetheless.

 

I was pretty sure I was in over my head, but being this close to him, I

couldn’t resist the pull. Besides, I was probably the only one that had any

chance of calming him before he did something rash. Tentatively, I reached my hand and slowly slipped it into one of his. Heat immediately spread

through my hand and up my arm, my nerve endings coming alive. Gabriel’s expression had morphed to one of complete surprise. I gave his hand a soft squeeze and I felt his grip tighten on mine. Closing my eyes, I tried to

gather every ounce of reassurance I had, sending it to him through our

connection. After a moment, he relaxed, if only slightly. I opened my eyes. He looked confused now, torn, and surprisingly vulnerable. My hand was

still encased in his and I was struck by just how perfect it felt. My body was tingling pleasantly and I inhaled his masculine scent. Without giving it any thought, I stood up on my tiptoes, leaning forward and wrapping my other arm securely around his muscular frame. I knew I was being impulsive and not thinking things through, but I desperately craved the comfort of his

embrace, even if it was only for a few seconds. I would probably berate myself for this later, but right now, I wanted this.

After a moment of hesitation, I felt Gabriel’s free arm slowly come up and around me, his hand splayed out across the center of my back. I buried my face in his shirt, not caring if he noticed that I was inhaling his scent like an addict. Our hands were intertwined and for once, it felt like we were a real Mated couple – as if we were acting like a normal Mated couple would.

His hand moved upwards to the top of my tank top, and then his fingers brushed against my bare flesh near my shoulders. Tingles immediately

burst from his touch and spread across my skin, and I stiffened noticeably. My Wolf whimpered with pleasure at his touch. I felt goosebumps rise on my arms. I was sure he’d noticed my reaction but his hand continued to

wander across the exposed skin that my tank top did not cover.

Slowly, I let my hand fist into the back of his shirt, gathering the thin fabric. Gabriel’s hand abruptly moved downwards along my side, and I belatedly realized my tank top had ridden up slightly when I had reached upwards to hug him. Now a thin strip of skin was exposed just around my midriff.

 

Gabriel’s fingers slowly, leisurely trickled along my side until they brushed that section of skin just above the line of my shorts. My Wolf purred and I shuddered despite myself, immediately pressing my body even closer to his. I felt Gabriel growl huskily, low in his throat. The heat between our

bodies was incredible.

Just when I thought Gabriel was going to act on his hormones, his hand

abruptly dropped mine and he released me from the hug, stepping away

from me. I suddenly felt cold with the absence of my Mate’s touch. He put a distance between us and looked away, jaw clenching. It appeared as if he

were trying to get ahold of himself. I knew it was the right thing to do before one of us made a hasty decision, but I still felt a pang of hurt.

 

How was it so easy for him to resist me? I could barely keep myself under control around him! Surely that meant there was something about me that he found undesirable. My own Mate was not supposed to be able to just

step away from me like that. I looked down at the ground, feeling

somewhat ashamed that I had acted like a hormone-ridden idiot. I should have just held Gabriel’s hand and let that be the end of it.

I wasn’t sure if it was a good or bad thing that my mother chose to rudely intrude in my mind in just that moment, her loud and chipper voice causing me to jump in surprise.

Your father is awake! She practically screamed with excitement and I gasped, my mouth curving upwards.

Gabriel was staring at me and I refocused on him. Whatever emotion had been on his face, he quickly masked. Before he could ask me what was

going on I cut him off.

“My father is awake!” My voice was breathless, although some of that could have been due to my encounter with my Mate.

He nodded, once, the odd expression still on his face. “Let’s go to him,

then,” he said, and I was slightly disappointed that his cold and detached

voice was back. My Wolf was sad we hadn’t continued our little moment,

but thinking about it now made me blush profusely. As the embarrassment

 

at my rash actions started to kick in, I tried to brush it aside. My father was now my top priority.

I practically sprinted to the infirmary, brushing by Eva, who was standing

outside looking tired. I knew I’d have to forget my animosity and thank her sometime. She had practically saved his life, after all. I bursted into the large room to see a very welcoming sight: my father, sitting upright in bed,

looking pale but okay. My mother had his hand in a death grip and was smiling ear to ear.

“Dad!” I cried excitedly, and as he turned to face me, his eyes lit up. I

barreled over to him and tried not to crush him when I hugged him. In just that moment – caught in an enveloping embrace with my family –

everything felt right in the world.

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#Tobecontinued….

 

Just so you know.

The party is about to start.

Don’t miss it!

 

_ _-Agboola-_ _

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